8 has always been my favorite number, and I have a lot of dates that have an 8 association.
For instance, my son was born on June 8th of 2008, my daughter was born at 8:16 at night, and August 8th is our wedding anniversary: 8/8 of 05.
August 8th also marks another anniversary for me, this year it’s an 8 year anniversary too boot.
This past Friday, August 8th, marked 8 years since I last spoke with my mother.
And as wonderful as my anniversary celebration was:
There is just no escaping the reality that my wedding took place one year to the day before the last conversation I would ever get to have with my mother.
We celebrated our anniversary by paddle-boarding on the river. During our trip there were a few moments where I found myself mostly alone, surrounded by stillness and quiet, and during those moments I would think of my mother.
My mother had a thing for geese, and often durning those peaceful moments on our float I would notice geese drifting past, on the water or in the air:
And every time it felt like a gift.
The next morning, (August 9th, which just happens to be my parents wedding anniversary) I woke up with my coffee and settled in to start reading my book and what do you think was the title of the very chapter I was set to read?
How incredibly kismet is that?
What my mother taught me. . .
Well, what my momma taught me, one of the many things, was to create a space that speaks to your soul.
My mom was a decorator in the truest since. She was constantly recreating our house. There was always at least one of her rooms in a state of remodeling at all times.
I relate to this immensely, especially being in this new house where we haven’t gotten to work on the inside at all. My brain is just itching to start pounding some nails or attacking things with spray-paint.
But, more then just decorating, my mother was constantly creating “spaces.”
I remember her planting grape vines around an arbor and placing a bench under it, looking out at the view, because she wanted to design a space to read and pray. She just loved the imagery of “the vine” from the Bible, and she felt that being surrounded by grape-vines would help calm her spirit during her quiet-times.
It was a “space”.
Right before she died she remodeled her sun-room and filled it with soft-comfortable seating so that she and her girls “would have a place to sit together and talk”.
It was a “space”.
And I totally get that.
I have a VERY hard time trying to read in a messy room, or trying to be creative in a place without windows.
So, when I saw this chapter, this chapter in a book I was trying to read on a couch covered with legos and crumbs, I thought to myself:
“I need a space”
I’m going to back up for just a minute. My father recently gave me an old savings bond my mother had bought for me on my one year birthday. I had taken it, placed it in a drawer, and forgotten all about it.
Then the other day I stumbled upon it again and decided to cash it on our anniversary, like a gift, praying that I would find something good to spend it on.
And there’s the beauty. I got the gift of this money on my anniversary, marking 8 years since I last spoke to my mother, 8 being a favorite number. And the next morning I opened up to this chapter: “What my mother taught me.” which caused me to want a “space” to read it in, and I remembered the savings bond money and my desire to use my mom’s gift on something beautiful, and it all fell into place.
I was going to get myself a spot.
I was going to create a space.
And today, which is also an anniversary, the 8 year anniversary since my mother died.
Today I went to a furniture store and bought myself a chair.
And I had lofty ideas of loading said chair into my car and driving it home and curling up in it.
8 years after her death…
8, my favorite number.
Alas, the store owner had to order the chair in, so I will have to wait a week before I will actually get to curl up in my mother’s gift.
For now, the spot will remain empty:
Which I suppose is only fitting on this day when I feel the loss of my mother so heavily.
There is an eternally empty spot in my heart. . . which is currently represented by this empty spot in my home.
Although, I do have a small gift right now.
A new pillow.
Blue. My favorite color. . . my mom’s favorite too. Another thing she and I have in common.
I can’t wait to get my chair, my gift from my mom, my gift in honor of our 8 years apart.
But for now, I will fill my “space” with this darling girl.
And her layered tutus:
Three to be exact. . . and exactly what this momma needed.